Gemstone Definitions 

Looking for a description of gemstones, we've got you covered.

If you are looking for information on the gemstones that you may be considering, then were here to help. From Alexandrite to Zircon and everything in between. Click on the gemstone name to see additional examples of each gemstone.

Often described by gem aficionados as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is the very rare color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable.

(birthstone for June also: Pearl & Moonstone)

Amber is a fossil from ancient tree sap that formed through a natural process. It’s odd inclusions add to amber’s unique look. Forests with globs of sticky resins were buried and the substance evolved into a soft, warm, golden gem known as amber. Amber today is harvested primarily on the seabeds of Poland and the Baltic region. It may also be found washed along the coastlines of Norway, England, and Denmark. Amber is one of the oldest substances used for adornment. The old Greek name for amber was “elektron” - amber rubbed against wool or silk becomes electrically charged! Amber is purported to be a general protector of health, especially for strengthening the eyes. When amber is heated and pressed together, a new material called amberoid is formed. It is more commonly called mosaic amber. The mosaic amber used in our collection is an amberoid derivative.

The deep, royal quartz occurs from light to dark purple and is transparent. This is the recognized birthstone for February and is mined in Arizona, Ontario, and Brazil. Amethyst is associated with the deities of Bacchus, Dionysus, and Diana. It was the stone of St. Valentine and considered the stone of friendship. Amethyst was made into charms and protective amulets, especially for travelers. An ancient symbol used to renew faith; this gem’s uplifting effects and inner beauty will always make a positive, lasting impression. It has been treasured for its beauty and purported healing and balancing power.

(birthstone for February)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 6th year of marriage)

Aquamarine is a reflection of the sea. The name Aquamarine comes from the Latin phrase "aqua marinas" meaning "water of the sea," and received its name through the stone's beautiful sparkling blue color that resembles the ocean waters. It is March’s birthstone and mined in the US, Brazil, and Africa. Presented as a gift the by Sea King Neptune to his mermaids, the gem represents love. This elegant gemstone symbolizes youth and hope.

(birthstone for March also: Bloodstone)

Black Onyx is a variety of opaque black chalcedony, a type of micro-crystalline quartz. It is found worldwide. We use Brazilian onyx. In ancient times, black onyx was believed to absorb negative energy.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 7th year of marriage)

Bloodstone (Heliotrope) was considered to be the most beautiful of the Jaspers, a deep, earthy green gem emboldened with spots of bright red. Called the Sun Stone, and later Christ’s Stone, its energy carries the purity of blood and inherently speaks of life and birth, vitality and strength, passion and courage. As a talisman it is both mystical and magical, and its virtues are protective and nurturing.

(birthstone for March also: Aquamarine)

Blue Topaz is one of the most popular and widely used of all gemstones. It can be heat treated and irradiated to produce a wide range of shades of blue. The name topaz comes from Topazios; an island in the Red Sea. It is the Texas state gemstone as well as the birthstone for the month of December. Sources include San Diego County, California and also Brazil and Africa. In 15th century Rome, topaz was used to detect poisons, calm anger, and break spells. The Greeks felt topaz gave them strength and was used as an amulet against harm. Hindus wore topaz above their hearts to prevent thirst and assure them long life, beauty, and intelligence. Blue topaz is purported to bring leadership ability to anyone who wears or carries it.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 4th year of marriage)

Bronzite is a variety of the mineral Enstatite. Bronzite is a lovely chocolate brown with bronze-colored spangles and metallic areas that add to its uniqueness. Bronzite is found throughout the USA, England, Labrador, Norway, and Greenland. Gemstone lore suggests ancient Romans ground Bronzite into powder form to use as protection. Some say Bronzite is a stone of courtesy, courage and assistance.

Citrine is a variety of the mineral quartz and has glorious shades of yellow. The name citrine is derived from the French word for lemon. It is mined in the United States, throughout South America, and Madagascar. Citrine is a recognized birthstone for November. The ancients revered citrine as a gift of the sun and a powerful antidote to the viper’s venom. Citrine lore suggests the gem promotes creativity and personal clarity. Citrine, with its golden yellow overtures, makes every day brighter. One can feel the transformation of sunrays flowing through the essence of this gem. Enjoy adorning yourself with this gift of light from the sun.

(birthstone for November also: Topaz)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 13th year of marriage)

Unique in the world of gemstones, diamond is the hardest of all materials. Our diamond initial letters contains one point fully faceted SI clarity diamonds. Diamonds are found in Arkansas, Canada, Africa, Australia, Russia and South America. Perhaps because of its rarity, diamonds are treasured as symbols of devotion and purity. Diamond-facts, Diamond-search

(birthstone for April)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 60th year of marriage)

A drusy gemstone has its surface covered with thousands of tiny, individual, naturally formed crystals, giving them a striking sparkly appearance. This gem has a surface texture similar to fine sugar crystals and like large gemstones, they glitter and catch rays of light. These beautiful gems form over millions of years and are found on host minerals such as agate. Depending on the minerals, drusies can be almost any color of the rainbow, including white, pink, blue, purple, green or black. Drusy can be found worldwide.

Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl. This gem is mined in Columbia, Brazil, Russia, and parts of Africa. The ultimate green in nature is presented in this revered gemstone, which is the birthstone for May. The soothing qualities of green range from physical to spiritual and the allure of this precious gem has a positive effect on the psyche.

(birthstone for May)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 20th year of marriage)

A pearl is a mollusk’s main defense against a foreign body. It is formed by encasing an outside particle in layers of nacre. They come in many beautiful shapes and colors. Freshwater pearls are among some of the most popular pearls today. They have been harvested in China starting as early as the 13th century. China is the largest producer of freshwater pearls but some are also grown in the U.S. Pearls have been revered by countless generations and have been used as sources of power throughout time. We use freshwater and keshi pearls. Both kinds of pearls are cultivated in freshwater lakes. Known for their glowing luster and baroque shape, keshi pearls lend themselves to very unusual jewelry creations. Keshi pearls consist of solid nacre, and tend to have high luster.

(birthstone for June)

The classic gemstone color of garnet is a deep, warm red. It is named for its resemblance in color to red pomegranates. Sources for garnet include Madagascar, Sri Lanka and even New York. Garnet is the birthstone for January. Garnets can be traced back to the Nile Delta in 3100 BC. It was worn to enhance strength, endurance and vigor. It was also worn for protective purposes - as a shield of positive energy. Garnet lore suggests the gemstone brings love, encourages compassion and enhances imagination.

(birthstone for January)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 2nd year of marriage)

a yellow precious metal, the chemical element of atomic number 79, valued especially for use in jewelry and decoration, and to guarantee the value of currencies. visit our GOLD page. Gold vs. Platinum information

(Anniversary gemstone for: 50th year of marriage)

It is the masculine, or yang counterpart to the feminine heart energies of Pink Tourmaline, and enhances courage and strength, stamina and vitality. ... Its vast popularity as agemstone began in 1876, when mineralogist and jeweler George Kunz sold a Green Tourmaline from Maine to the famous Tiffany and Co.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 10th year of marriage)

Healing. Jade Meaning. Jade is a special stone that is believed to promote wisdom, balance, and peace. It has spiritual attributes, which are extremely distinct. This prehistoric sign of calm and peace is a unique, strong piece of tool that encourages our consciousness to increase at a higher level.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 12th year of marriage)

Labradorite is a gemstone that displays an iridescent play of color depending on the angle it is viewed. This special iridescence is called labradorescence. It can be quite breathtaking. The main source for Labradorite is on the North Central coast of Labrador in Canada. According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rocks along the coast of Labrador. It is told that a wandering Eskimo warrior found them and was able to free most of the lights with a mighty blow of his spear. Some of the lights were still trapped within the stone, and thus we have today the beautiful mineral known as labradorite. Traditionally, labradorite is thought to bring good luck. Labradorite is said to give perseverance, strength and enhanced intuition.

Lapis Lazuli is a composition of lazurite (blue), pyrite (gold), and calcite which appear as white specks. Because of this particular combination of minerals, our lapis resembles denim fabric. Lapis is found in numerous regions across the globe, from Siberia to South America. Lapis lazuli is regarded by many people as the stone of friendship and truth.

(birthstone for December also: Turquoise, Zircon & Tanzanite)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 9th year of marriage)

Lava is the word for molten rock when it erupts onto the Earth’s surface. The term lava is derived from Latin: labes, which means a fall or slide. Our lava is harvested from volcanoes in Indonesia and Bali.

Moonstone owes its name to the mysterious white or blue billowy effect, which appears different whenever the stone is moved. This phenomenon is referred to as adularescence. It is used for the June birthstone. Moonstones are found in the US, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar. This gemstone is surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic. In India, moonstones are regarded as 'dream stones' which bring the wearer beautiful visions at night. Historically renowned for its ability to restore purity and youth, moonstone shimmers and reflects upon each unique personality. Its translucent nature plays with the light, and each angle rediscovers the beauty of this gem.

(birthstone for June also: Pearl & Alexandrite)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 3rd year of marriage)

What is Mother of Pearl? Mother of pearl, also called nacre, is an iridescent layer of material that forms the shell lining of many mollusks. Pearl oysters and abalone are both sources of this substance, which is widely used as an inlay in jewelry

(Anniversary gemstone for: 1st year of marriage)

Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage. The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning“precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”

(Anniversary gemstone for: 14th year of marriage)

(Lime or Lemon Citrine) Oro Verde is also known as Lemon Quartz or Prasiolite. Oro Verde translates from Spanish as green-gold; an accurate description of this gem’s color. Oro Verde Quartz is heated to achieve its yellow-green color. As a member of the Quartz family, Oro Verde is a great gem for daily wear as it is durable and accents silver beautifully. Today most Oro Verde is mined in Brazil.

Pearls are organic gemstones that are formed by shelled molluscs; mainly bivalved oysters and mussels. Pearls are made up of nacre (mother-of-pearl) which is mostly aragonite (calcium carbonate) and conchiolin (complex proteins that form mollusc shells). 

(birthstone for June also: Moonstone & Alexandrite)  Also visit our Pearl Page

(birthstone for June also: moonstone, alexandrite)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 30th year of marriage)

Peridot is a gemstone that is known for its vivid green color. It compliments beautiful pastels. Peridot can be found in Egyptian jewelry from the early 2nd millennium B.C. The ancient Romans were fond of this gemstone and esteemed its radiant green shine. They nicknamed it the 'emerald of the evening'. Ancient traditions link this rich green stone with a host of magical powers. Let the fresh, sparkling color inspire you to obtain you own legends and dreams. Peridot is the August birthstone and has been found in Arizona, and volcanic regions worldwide.

(birthstone for August also: Sardonyx & Spinel)

a precious silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 78. It was first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century and is used in jewelry, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment, and industrial catalysts. Gold vs. Platinum information

(Anniversary gemstone for: 70th year of marriage)

The metallic brassy-yellow color of Pyrite has led many people to call this mineral “fool’s gold.” The name ‘pyrite’ is derived from the Greek term, pyrites lithos, “stone which strikes fire”. Sources include Illinois, Missouri, Brazil and Peru among others. Native Americans believed they could look into one's very soul when peering into a polished piece of Pyrite. Pyrite is thought to create a better balance and flow between right and left-brain function. These metallic crystals are purported to attract money and good fortune.

The name "garnet" comes from the Medieval Latin word, "granatum", which is an adjective meaning "dark-red". It is thought that this adjective could have been extracted from the word "pomegranate", due to the color. of the seed coats or shape of the seeds. However, the word could also have come from another Medieval Latin word; "granum", referring to red dye. The use of red garnet dates back thousands of years, when it was used by Egyptian pharaohs for both decorative and ceremonial purposes. The ancient Romans also wore garnet rings and traded garnet gemstones. The best rhodolite garnet gemstones are a vivid raspberry-red color.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 15th year of marriage)

Rock crystal is the name given to all colorless quartz. Quite striking in its beauty, it is used to make non-jewelry items as well, such as chandeliers, wands and crystal balls. When rock crystal is heated and quickly quenched, it forms a unique crackled texture. The best rock crystal source in the US is Arkansas. It is also found throughout England, Switzerland, Brazil, and Madagascar. Rock crystal is considered by some to be a versatile healing stone that amplifies and energizes with organizing and harmonizing effects for mind and body clarity. Thus, it is widely used for meditation and healing techniques.

Rose Quartz. The fair and lovely Rose Quartz, with its gentle pink essence, is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. It carries a soft feminine energy of compassion and peace, tenderness and healing, nourishment and comfort.

(Anniversary gemstone for: 5th year of marriage)

Earth’s rare minerals combine to form this corundum, a very precious and stunningly gorgeous red gem. This is the birthstone for July and the gem is mined in parts of Southeast Asia. Rubies are the earth’s expression of the heart’s desire. Noble kings offered rubies to their devoted followers to represent loyalty and admiration. The ruby symbolizes success, devotion and integrity. It has traditionally been a symbol of passion and a promise of the heart.

(birthstone for July)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 40th year of marriage)

Soothing sapphires are the ultimate blue gems. Sapphire is Latin for blue, and the heavens truly radiate in each precious stone. When paired with soft sterling silhouettes, the blue colors dance, creating a treasure for all to see. September’s birthstone is mined in Colorado, Australia, India and numerous others locations worldwide. Coveted for centuries, sapphire lore suggests the gemstone encourages chastity, imparts wisdom and truth and enhances perception. It is also said to help maintain peace of mind and serenity. Sapphires are also associated with romance and undying devotion.

(birthstone for September)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 65th year of marriage)

Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx—two types of the layered mineral chalcedony—to create a reddish zebra-striped stone with white bands.

(birthstone for August also: Peridot & Spinel)

a hard vitreous magnesium aluminum oxide that has been used as a gemstone for centuries. The beauty of spinel has caused it to be mistaken for ruby and sapphire in the past. However, spinel deserves to be recognized as a gemstone that is worthy of appreciation in its own right. Spinel occurs in a range of colors, such as rose pink to rich red; lavender to deep violet; light to deep blue, orange, yellow, brown and black.

(birthstone for August also: Peridot & Sardonyx)

Found in just one place on earth, tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery. This blue variety of zoisite was named for Tanzania, the country where it was found, by Tiffany & Co. Because crystals show different colors depending on viewing direction, cutters can choose bluish purple or the more favored pure blue or violetish blue hue depending on how much weight they want to retain from the rough.

(birthstone for December also: Turquoise, Lapis lazuli & Zircon)

Topaz actually has an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturation of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Colorless topaz is plentiful, and is often treated to give it a blue color. Topaz is also pleochroic, meaning that the gem can show different colors in different crystal directions.

(birthstone for November also: Citrine)

According to legend, all colors of tourmaline protect the wearer against many dangers and misfortune. Tourmaline is the gemstone of Maine and Pink Tourmaline is the birthstone for October. It is found in California, Maine, Brazil, and throughout Asia and Africa. Tourmaline lore suggests the gem promotes female balance and protection while helping to dispel fears, calm nerves and encourage tranquil and recuperative sleep.

(birthstone for October also: Opal)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 8th year of marriage)

Tourmalinated Quartz is a variety of colorless quartz. It is so named because of the occurrence of natural tourmaline crystals that grew within the quartz as the crystal was forming. The beauty of the dark tourmaline crystals in the clearness of the quartz is one of nature’s presents. Brazil is a land rich in this amazing gemstone.

Tsavorite is a trade name for the emerald-green variety of Grossular Garnet that originates in Africa. Tsavorite has become one of the most popular and expensive Garnets, due to its rarity combined with effective marketing tactics. This gemstone was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. 

(Anniversary gemstone for: 25th year of marriage)

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(birthstone for December also: Tanzanite, Lapis lazuli & Tanzanite)

(Anniversary gemstone for: 11th year of marriage)

Frederic Duclos (process) has partnered with a unique Venetian artist to produce exclusive combinations of colors and foils. The labor-intensive medallions are constructed with different layers of glass that are baked in a furnace. Each medallion is cut, ground, and polished from an original matrix. The multiple cooling processes of the medallions makes them hard enough to be drilled. The finest foils and powders of precious metals, yellow and rose gold, and fine silver add a beautiful dimension to each piece. The intrinsic beauty in these is that although the ingredients are the same, each medallion is unique in its character and is available with a hand signed certificate of authenticity.